May 21, 2024

Board game ‘renaissance’ rolls dice for industry giant


A post-COVID industry-wide “renaissance” has compelled board game makers to adapt to new traits and innovate past traditional video games.

“During the pandemic, I would call that kind of almost, like a renaissance for the board game industry where families and players around the world kind of rediscovered their love for games,” Hasbro SVP of Board Games Brian Baker instructed Fox News Digital. 

“The pandemic was a powerful moment for our industry.”

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The market rebirth was met with a “surge” in gross sales and the recognition of conventional gaming. 

Baker reported Hasbro noticed “double-digit growth at the height of the pandemic.”

“People went out and bought all kinds of games and kind of filled their game cabinets. And so from a business perspective, we definitely benefited from that.”

According to a Fortune Business Insights report, the worldwide board game industry was valued at $13.06 billion in 2023. The market is projected to develop by over $1 billion in 2024 and greater than double to $32 billion by 2032.

“What we found is that players are now looking for new types of games and new genres of games because they’ve played the ones that are familiar, they’ve played the ones they’ve grown up with. And so we’re really working to make sure that we can deliver the diverse experiences those players are looking for,” Baker stated. 

Woman stands with shopping cart in front of games

The board game industry has seen huge progress because the COVID-19 pandemic as extra individuals look to unplug and reconnect. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Baker highlighted various traits shaping the board game industry, together with the urge for food for “fun” video games among Gen Z gamers. One is the rising reputation of smaller, transportable card video games equivalent to Arschmallows, obtainable June 1 on Amazon. Another driver of progress is grownup celebration video games like Cards Against Humanity. 

“When you talk about that generation, we know that they’re coming together to play games. They’re just looking for content that could be a little bit edgier and a little bit more fun,” Baker stated. 

The industry’s rebirth was additionally inspired by social media and various influencers creating their model round board video games. 

Alex Hart, a self-proclaimed board game sommelier, has been providing his followers game suggestions since he began his channel in 2021. He now boasts hundreds of followers with hundreds of thousands of likes. 

He believes the rising favorability of board video games amongst youthful gamers is because of a “longing for connection.”

“A lot of the reason why you’re getting people in my generation, millennials, and also a lot of the audience for my channel, Gen Z, kind of getting into board games is really because there is this sort of need for connection,” Hart instructed Fox News Digital. “[It] has really driven board games into the spotlight and made it so that we have something to talk about with our friends, something to talk about with our families.”

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Another board game influencer duo, Chris and Aly, affirmed Hart’s perspective, emphasizing how youthful gamers are wanting for methods to “unplug.”

“One of the main reasons that we see a lot of people wanting to play board games is because it’s nice, I think, to unplug every once in a while from today’s world and just get back to the basics of like, tabletop fun,” Aly of Games4Two instructed Fox News Digital. “I know us as millennials, we didn’t have phones until we were like 12 or 13… And so board games were kind of what we grew up on in that first large chunk of our lives. And so it’s nice to utilize that in a world that’s full of digital creation and media. It’s nice to kind of just unplug every once in a while and go back to what we know.”

“I feel like everybody’s day-to-day lives are completely overwhelmed with screens and technology. Whether you work from home or you work in an office, or your spare time is spent watching the TV or on your phone. It’s definitely nice to…unplug and just connect with one or two other people and have some time away from electronics,” Chris added. 

For corporations like Hasbro, social media and influencers present “inspiration” and “insights” into client conduct and pursuits. Baker pointed to evaluation exhibiting there may be an rising variety of gamers thinking about discovering new video games and searching for choices past the classics. 

“Typically, when you think of Hasbro, you’re going to think of games like Monopoly and Clue and Connect4 and Operation.,” Baker stated, emphasizing the corporate is “continuing to innovate” and revamp these timeless manufacturers.

“It’s not only about inventing new games and delivering new products and kind of capturing some of those growth areas, like adult games, or card games for Hasbro, but just making sure we’re taking the same level of innovation, thought and care to some of those classic games that people grew up in and love. So for me, it’s striking that balance, you know, in ensuring that we honor the legacy of Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley and a lot of the companies that we’ve kind of acquired and incorporated as part of our portfolio throughout history.”

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